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Jakarta Arrests at Gay Sauna Party Bring Pornography Charges

Image: Jakarta Arrests at Gay Sauna Party Bring Pornography Charges

Indonesian police guard men arrested in a recent raid during a press conference at a police station in Jakarta on May 22, 2017. (Fernando/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2017 05:43 AM

A wave of Jakarta arrests this past weekend targeted more than 100 men attending a gay sauna in the Indonesian capital.

While homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the 141 men arrested in the raid were held and question in connection with violating the country's laws against pornography, Jakarta police representative Agus Yuwono said, according to The Guardian.

Local authorities told The Associated Press that a party at the sauna was promoted as "The Wild One." Police said they arrested the sauna's owner, several staff including strippers, a gym trainer, receptionist, a security guard, and two visitors to the club who allegedly performed oral sex.

The suspects could face up to 10 years in prison and fines if they are found guilty of pornography charges, The Associated Press said.

Yulita Rustinawati, a representative from the LGBT activist group Arus Pelangi, told The Guardian that the arrests were probably part of a growing trend of intolerance toward the gay community in a country with the world's largest Muslim-majority population.

The BBC News reported that two men were sentenced to public caning in Aceh last week after they were convicted of engaging in gay sex. The Associated Press reported that someone broke into the men's rented accommodation to film them having sex and handed them over to Shariah police.

The court sentenced the men, aged 20 and 23, to 85 lashes each, sparking protests from human rights groups, noted the AP.

Police also arrested 14 people in the city of Surabaya for allegedly holding a gay party and could face pornography charges, stated the BBC News.

"(The arrests have) been increasing for two years now," Rustinawati said of the recent crackdowns using anti-pornography laws, wrote The Guardian. "It's bad for democracy, for freedom of expression and freedom of association. We're not sure what the government is trying to achieve. We are queer and we are not going away."

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A wave of Jakarta arrests this past weekend targeted more than 100 men attending a gay sauna in the Indonesian capital.
jakarta, arrests, gay, sauna, pornography
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2017-43-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 05:43 AM
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